Shark Tank. The Weather Report. Tiger King. Disney Sing-Along. Community. These five things, and countless others, have one very clear thing in common while we're all stuck in separate rooms. In each of these television events, the people staring into the camera and laughing, singing, or talking at you about something are all wearing Apple's AirPods. It's the best advertising Apple never asked for, but makes a crystal clear statement about the state of the headphone market.
This is Apple's world now, and everything else is just taking up space on the shelf at the electronics shop.
It doesn't matter if they're the OG Airpods or the newer AirPods Pro, Apple's True Wireless earbuds are clearly the headset of choice in our quarantined world. Netflix producers shipped an iPhone and a pair of AirPods to everyone involved in the bonus episode of Tiger King, and they did this because these heaphones are dead simple to use and it created a base line of audio quality for the editors to work with. Everyone had the same quality audio and video, which makes editing any project easier. This little bit of recording magic has been repeated all over the place, just send out a little care package with a tripod and a phone and some headphones with some quick instructions on how to set everything up. Pow, instant basic TV-ready experience.
AirPods were already a status symbol, and now they're in our faces on a scale no other set of headphones could possible compete with.
And, ultimately, that's why these are on television all the time right now. AirPods are not the best heaphones in the world, nor do they have the best microphones built in. You can get cheaper heaphones from Amazon, Google, or a dozen other companies right now. But it doesn't matter, because none of them are as straightforward and easy to use as AirPods. And as we've seen from Apple's Greg Joswiak, the popularity was already too much for Apple to handle. Most folks in television are going to own iPhones anyway, so the choice is obvious. Open the lid, stick them in your ears, and AirPods immediately start working. Couldn't be more simple, and there's a good chance a lot of the folks working in television already have these headphones to begin with.
The long term implications of this are genuinely fascinating to think about. Right now, millions of people are watching celebrities and TV hosts and their favorite actors all do things on television with Apple hardware in their ears. Even though it's never directly called out, the headphones are suddenly as ubiquitous as the old iPhone ad campaign with the shadow people rocking the wired Earpod headphones. AirPods were already a status symbol, and now they're in our faces on a scale no other set of headphones could possible compete with. And if what they say about the AirPod supply chain rebounding is true, Apple's about to have an incredibly successful summer in the headphone department.
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